What new vehicles have seen the biggest sales drops in 2015 to date?
If you’re in the market for a new car, SUV or commercial, it can be valuable to know. After all, if a brand is struggling to sell one of its volume cars, there's every chance you could get yourself a good deal. Most of the cars on this list are pretty good vehicles.
We’ve chosen to look at those vehicles that have contracted the most in raw numerical terms, rather than on a percentage basis. The issue with the latter is it can reflect little more than a model with a low base, inherently more prone to stark variability.
We’re also not including vehicles that have been discontinued but still sit in the charts. Looking at you, Nissan Dualis.
Plus, everyone loves a list, right?
1) Ford Focus: 4087 sales YTD, down 4765 units (53.8 per cent)
The updated version is just around the corner (the ST is already here), and it can’t come soon enough — provided supply is good. At this point last year, Focus had registered 8852 units, so the total has been almost halved this year.
We understand Ford’s stock levels have grown short as the long, long wait for the update grows, but this drop is nevertheless largely responsible for Ford’s overall market contraction of 17.6 per cent this year.
2) Holden Commodore: 16,326 sales YTD, down 3160 units (down 16.0 per cent)
Combine Holden Commodore sedan and Sportwagon sales, as well as the Ute, and the tally at the half-way point of the year has fallen from 19,490 to 16,326 units. That said, its market share in the large car segment has remained stable at a shade over 70.0 per cent.
3) Honda Civic: 2407 sales YTD, down 2259 units (down 48.4 per cent).
High exchange rates are burning sales of the UK-made Honda Civic hatch, while the Thai-made Civic sedan is simply a bit uncompetitive across various levels. As a result, sales are down 2259 units to 2407. This is a drop of 48.4 per cent.
The next-generation models due from mid-2016 can’t come soon enough, if Honda wants to return the Civic to brand-staple status.
4) Nissan Navara: 6473 sales YTD, down 2230 units (down 26.0 per cent)
With the all-new model recently launched, expect a turnaround. Nissan was bound to be running short of stock towards the end of both the D40 and budget D22 versions — both discontinued. The company hopes to return to the pointy end of the segment, against the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton, which dominate sales.
5) Jeep Grand Cherokee: 6441 sales YTD, down 2169 units (down 25.2 per cent)
Has lost its mantle as the nation’s top-selling large SUV for the moment, though its sales are still remarkable compared to where they were a few years ago.
Perhaps the new five-star ANCAP rating announced this week, and applied retroactively to mid-2013, will help.
6) Mazda 3: 20,427 sales YTD, down 2097 units (down 9.3 per cent)
It hasn’t dropped much faster in percentage terms that the small car segment as a whole (courtesy of small SUV growth), and it’s still number two on the charts behind the Toyota Corolla, but the Mazda 3 sells in such big volumes that even a small percentage drop adds up.
7) Subaru XV: 3985 sales YTD, down 1695 units (down 29.8 per cent)
The small SUV segment is still booming, up 23.3 per cent YTD. With that comes more competition, because while segment sales are up a shade over 9000 units total, the new Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 have added more than that between them.
Ergo, they’re not just adding buyers to the segment, but stealing sales from other brands. Maybe that’s why, despite some recent updates and price cuts, the Subaru XV’s sales are going in the other direction.
8) Holden Cruze: 7974 sales YTD, down 1433 units (down 15.2 per cent)
The recently-updated Australian-made small car appears to be drifting towards a sad demise as a locally-built car, given its sales drop is more than twice the segment average. Its 7974 sales compare to 11,829 for the Volkswagen Golf — something we’d never have envisaged a few years ago.
9) Kia Rio: 3060 sales YTD, down 1245 units (down 28.9 per cent)
This time last year, the Rio was Kia’s top-seller. Now, it’s third, behind the Cerato and Sportage (both have grown their sales while the Rio has shrunk). Despite a recent update and some sharp campaign pricing, sales are down 28.9 per cent this year.
Even more interesting is that the light car segment is one of the fastest-growing as a whole — up 10.2 per cent YTD.
10) Hyundai i20: 6496 sales YTD, down 1240 units (down 16.0 per cent)
Didn’t expect this. At the end of May, the i20’s sales were actually up, but then its June total was a staggering 1437 units lower than the same month in 2014 — perhaps because Hyundai was slashing prices on the larger i30, thereby making it the nation’s single top-selling car.
This time last year, the Hyundai i20 was the number one seller in the segment, now it’s third behind the Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris. And stocks may dry up by year’s end, with no new model in sight.
Want to know the other side of the coin addressed here? See our list of the 10 biggest sales winners of 2015 here.